Friday, December 11, 2009

Webcam-based 3D scanning

ProFORMA (which stands for 'Probabilistic Feature-based On-line Rapid Model Acquisition', if you must know) is some cool system that turns any ordinary webcam into a powerful 3D scanning tool. In fact, a camera is pretty much all you need for some "on-line" modeling action -- no laser or green screen necessary -- meaning the 3D models are constructed on the spot while you slowly rotate the objects, although ProFORMA can also track fast moving objects as shown in the demo video.

Article Link (Gizmodo)

Robot dance

Article Link (Gizmodo)

Robotic Heads

Talk about the uncanny valley..

These are three singing robots manufactured into a performing trio. The animatronic heads from artist Nathaniel Mellor are part of a $75,000 art piece on sale at Art Basel Miami Beach 2009. The artificial faces are controlled by servos which in turn are controlled by a computer. The uncontrolled fear you'll feel when watching the video is, however, completely natural.

Article Link (Gizmodo)

Pingo the desktop robot penguin at $150

This penguin bot is a ridiculously interactive alert system for news, email, Facebook updates, and whatever else you set him to check for. I say "ridiculously interactive," because Pingo reacts to pokes, shakes, and voice commands and can be nurtured and played with as if a pet. I'm sure all of those things would turn more annoying than useful or entertaining quickly, but the damn thing is way to freakin' cute for me to care.

At $149, Pingo is definitely more expensive than the Furbies it acts and looks like, but—never mind the features—the minimal creepiness is worth the price difference.

Previous Post (5 July 2009)
Article Link (Gizmodo)